Date 1877-04-21
Publication Academy
Topic Continental Exhibition, second notice
AP display
RA display
Subject art
Keywords Continental
  ↳ French
  ↳ German
  ↳ Spanish
Standards PRB aesthetic standards
  ↳ merit
Notes "Repulsive, ugly" vogue caricaturing of Catholic clergy.

Annotation details

77 April 21 Academy


Continental Exhibition, second notice.


Rossetti, William M. "The Continental Exhibition." Academy (April 21, 1877): 304. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti proposes to finish off the commentary in this exhibition quickly of necessity, as "others are opening in all directions." He critiques a French work as "a repulsively ugly specimen, clever though it undoubtedly is, of that art, now much in vogue," whose purpose Rossetti says is to caricature the Catholic clergy.

Rossetti provides both qualitative and quantitative critique of several French, Spanish and German works, examining the painters' schemes, execution and effect.

A major flaw Rossetti notes is the style that mutes expression on faces and even settings or scenery in favor of a uniform polish that Rossetti finds unmeaning: "When one looks from face to face, one finds them all fatally mask-like, uniform, and unmeaning, and the figures are but little better than the faces. The whole thing is toned down to a pale, husky vaporousness of meaning, which may look 'ideal' to some spectators, but they must be rather guileless folk."




Continental, French, Spanish, German

Standards of Judgment:

Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic standards

Rhetoric and tone:

evaluative, polemical


Duez, Y. Gonzalez Vincente Palmaroli